free radicals

Free Radicals (band)

Free Radicals is an American jazz, funk, hip-hop, avant-garde, ska, reggae, African music, Indian music, punk, klezmer, polka and latin jazz group based in Houston, Texas.


Free Radicals' live band includes six or seven members. On recordings—The Rising Tide Sinks All (1998), Our Lady of Eternal Sunny Delights (2000), and Aerial Bombardment (2004)—Free Radicals invites a group of 50 or more musicians and vocalists into the studio.

Drummer Nick Cooper founded the group in 1996, with a goal of specializing in improvised music. In 2000, The New Yorker wrote "The horn-heavy, continually evolving collective Free Radicals produces a wildly eclectic fusion that has as many influences as there are items in the Houston, Texas, pawnshop in which they honed their sound during all-night jam sessions."

Free Radicals performs many marches and fund-raisers for anti-authoritarian and radical groups like food not bombs, peace festivals, and charities events including a continuous 24-hour concert in November 1999 to raise money for Kid Care, a health program for children. They have protested against Halliburton, and participated in marches for immigrants' rights and for a Houston janitor's union.

The band is recording a fourth studio album.

Free Radicals has won the following Houston Press awards:

  • 2008: Best Jazz
  • 2004: Best CD by Local Musicians
  • 2003: Best Jazz
  • 2002: Best Jazz
  • 2001: Best Jazz
  • 1999: Best Jazz, Best Funk, Best Drummer
  • 1998: Best Jazz, Best Unsigned Band


  • 1998: The Rising Tide Sinks All
  • 2000: Our Lady of Eternal Sunny Delights (Rastaman Work Ethic)
  • 2004: Aerial Bombardment (Rastaman Work Ethic)



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